James H. Garrett Jr. became Dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering in 2013. Immediately prior to that, he spent six years as head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dean Garrett is Carnegie Mellon plaid through and through, having received his B.S. (’82), M.S. (’83), and Ph.D. (’86) degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the institution.
He joined the faculty of the College as an assistant professor in 1990 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. Dean Garrett has served in other administrative roles including Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs (2000-2006) and Acting Dean (2004), as well as faculty co-director of the Smart Infrastructure Institute, a research center aimed at developing sensing technology for construction and infrastructure systems.
Throughout his research career, Dean Garrett focused on how sensors and data analytics can make our cities more adaptive and efficient. This approach aims to give our built infrastructure the ability to detect and report on problems directly to the humans charged with maintaining those structures, allowing for more proactive and cost-effective infrastructure management.
As Dean of the College, he has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment to the integration of research and teaching across engineering, science, arts, business, and other disciplines, to effectively produce a generation of creative and technically strong engineers who are equipped to pioneer solutions to global challenges. Dean Garrett’s focus on bringing the collaborative spirit of making to the College continues to build on the unique strengths of Carnegie Mellon’s students and faculty.